Charles R . Savage Photography

Charles R. Savage (1832–1909) was born in Southampton, England. When he was nearly fifteen, Charles received his first introduction to the Church and was baptized soon afterward. After serving a successful mission in Switzerland, Charles crossed the Atlantic Ocean, arriving in New York City in 1857, where he met and married Annie Adkins. During his stay in New York, he also developed a great interest in photography and determined to become proficient in that trade.




Charles managed to obtain a wagon and a yoke of cattle. Shortly after arriving in Salt Lake City in 1860, he joined with Marsena Cannon in opening a photography business. Later Charles opened his own business in the upper part of a house located on Main Street just south of the old Salt Lake Council House (which stood on the southwest corner of Main Street and South Temple streets where the Gateway Tower West now stands).

Charles traveled throughout the Rocky Mountain region, taking photographs of everything that interested him. He won numerous prizes for his abilities. On June 21, 1883, an enormous fire started in Hiram Clawson’s building that engulfed Charles’s Photography Shop as well as the Council House. All of his negatives portraying the growth of Salt Lake City and other areas were destroyed. His surviving photographs have become a priceless treasure of Salt Lake City’s pioneer legacy.

A black and white portrait of an older C. R. Savage. Daughters of Utah Pioneers

The Savage and Ottinger Gallery. Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

Located on the northeast corner of South Temple and Main Streets. Utah State Historical Society

A portrait of George M. Ottinger, C. R. Savage’s partner. Utah State Historical Society

This camera was used by the Fox-Symons photography studio. It is similar to the one used by Savage and Ottinger in their early photography business. It is now on display at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum. Brigham Young University